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el böthy
4 stars Ok, so you want epic, right? You want Moonsorrow!

Moonsorrow must be right now one, if not THE, most respected, critical aclaimed and probably succesful band in the Viking metal scene. Yes, the fisrt thing I thought too is "Viking metal? That can´t sound good!", well, I have to hand it to you, just as about anyhting in metal, the majority of bands in the genre actually quite... suck. But there are two or three bands that actually sound quite good and one that sounds like a mountain, and that´s Moonsorrow.

If you aren´t familiar with Moonsorrow and/or the Viking metal scene and want to get an idea of how it must sound... well, take Opeth´s long compositions, add the epicness of ...In the Woods, pour some Braveheard (yes, the movie) into the mix and you´ll have a pretty good idea of how it sounds. Ah, and put a lot of testosterone and stinking sweat... yes, Viking stinks! If there ever was a manly metal, this is it!

Now, of course this all sounds pretty stupid and not many progheads will find this interesting and (sadly?) it´s not that far away from the truth. Still, in Moonsorrow´s case, even though it all fits the description, it´s just a part of what they are, for, even if there is stinking sweat, the band, and specially in this case, sound extremly polished and refined. It is really surprising how they can pull off all that rawness and make it sound sophisticated. And, again, never have they achieved that better than in V: Hävitetty.

The album starts with Jäästä Syntynyt/ Varjojen Virta, a 30:10 min piece of metal music. From the soft and Pink Floyd inspired keys and arpegios guitars and the grandiloquent and slightly pompous choruses we are sumerged into the cold woods of Finland. This intro (Jäästä Syntynyt) lasts seven and a half minutes, but it´s impressive how this guys arrange to make time past bye so fast you actually get surprised the intro didn´t last 3 minutes, and that´s the secret of Moonsoroow in this album, they make time pass by as if it were air. Of course the song starts to get even better when the distorted guitars kick in, but it´s not until Ville Sorvali´s cry of war that the adrenaline pumps in and we are taken to the middle of the march of ferocious horses and their knights ready to kick some scandinavians butts. From this point on the song only get´s better and better, progresing, almost unnoticed, with riffs coming in and out, but never relying too much on repetitions, the key here is to march forward! Even though, as said before, the song just keeps getting better and better, nothing tops the monster guitar riff around the 12 th min. The first time it´s presented, for it will come up two more times, I literally get goosebumps every single time I hear it, it´s in my opinion one of metal´s best riffs ever, yet it´s quite simple, don´t expect much technicallity here, it´s simple, but ever so effective. The end (or near the end) melody, the climax sort to speak, around the 24th min is another highpoint, I don´t think we can go any more epic than that melody, really well crafted, and, again, the progression until this point in the song is remarkable, it really feels like the 24 min of music before were a way to get to this point, and not one second is wasted, a really perfect epic if there is such thing, I hold it just as high as Meshuggah´s I, which many times I have said is the best epic in metal ever... well, this is number two by a very, very slim margin.

The second, and last, song, Tuleen Ajettu Maa, although more varied and just as brutal and sophisticated at the same time, is not up par with Jäästä Syntynyt/ Varjojen Virta, but it´s by no means a weak track. Again we are presented with some excellent build ups, the progression of the song through out it´s 26:19 min feels natural as well, even though some parts might be too long, played (maybe) a few times too much, and some of the choruses might be a bit too pompous for their own sake, but more than that I have no reproach. Some parts of the song, specially Sorvali´s voice remainds me of some of Devin Townsend best moments, due also to the atmospheric feel the guitars have.

All in all this album is excellent, but as there are only two song, one of which is superb and one of which is just very good, I can´t give it 5 stars. If it would be possible I would rate it 4.5/5, but I can´t, and I think this time the rating must go to 4 more than to 5. Now, before I finish my review, I will let you in a little secret. You know what makes Moonsorrow, and specially this album, so good, whats the secret for their 30 min epics were every second is incredible? The rythmical section! The bass/drums work, it might not be virtuoso, they might not leave 4/4 for too long, but they work wonders, almost unnoticed, I have come to this conclusion very recently after having heard this album a 100 times already, and I think I´m on to something. Even Sorvali´s vocals, which are far more rythmical than melodic add up to make that progression and that going somewhere seem so natural and right. And if you lay on top some atmospheric distorted guitars and some sweat, you have the perfect metal band.

Report this review (#156471)
Posted Monday, December 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Ravaged I glance upon this bruised land

I was walking through the burned out terrain; no one in sight, only scavenging birds picking at the remains of bodies from the last battle that went on here. The fire is seen from afar; the heat from it reaching despite the distance; its sound carried on the mild wind. All starts slowly and calmly. Then start the beating of the drums, the guitar gently playing. As if to lure me into their midst, promising nothing will harm me now after the storm. The chanting vocals of the choir speak of coldness and despair (with a possibility of hope that would later turn out futile); now we realize the storm shall start yet again with a big bang. The electro-acoustic guitar prepares us, giving the intro, joined by the bass. Then it starts. slowly bursting powerfully from its shell the riffs sear through the landscape. All of a sudden it accelerates and the main theme starts. This theme will lead the first part and will reappear in the later parts of this thirty minute track. We are now soaring through the darkened battle-field, overhead. The music, as mentioned, is curled around the main theme, developed and deconstructed through it, brought around and about it, always returning, and constantly bumping away from it. One would think that half an hour of one track is too much for this sort of music; but it's not. The musical ideas are well exploited, well developed and well played. It is intense, powerful and even mesmerizing. Dark and foreboding, the music is mysterious and the art-work fits it perfectly. There is a sense of doom in the air, as if we are about to lose our souls. The music portrays this very well. At about the half point of the track, comes the complementing second theme, which is a swirling riff with a climatic alternate end point. Moonsorrow manages to pull me through this journey, hypnotizing me, making me follow them on those sound-wings, looking beneath me at the scorched ground. It is extreme metal befitting extreme situation. The music seems to fit glacial scenery, a stormy winter night; however, I am filled with great warmth as I listen to their music.

Though the band has shifted in their direction, there are all the recognizable elements of their black metal and Viking metal roots. Though it is less melodic and accessible than prior efforts, it is much more experimental, explorative and progressive. They develop less musical ideas but to a greater extent. Here they show how far they have gone from the days of Suden Uni. This album represents a superb progression of the band from albums which are good example of having progressive tendencies themselves. They have toned down some of their viking metal characteristics (though not completely but relatively) and have emphasized the aggressive and extreme metal side. It would seem that the band is now interested in focusing on creating metallic sceneries, focusing more on development and exploration of distinct and few musical schemes; they seem to like creating a flowing and coherent wall of riffs and blasts. I can only imagine how their next album will sound if I judge by what has been done here.

I won't go into the second track, as there is a similar pattern there as well with regards to developing and exploring a musical theme. All that was said about the first track applies here as well. I'll only say that it is even more extreme and aggressive, while also having somewhat more melodic touches to it. This album has a big scope; not only in the sense that that tracks are so long, but also in that the sound of the album sounds big; it conjures up in my mind images of a huge landscape; the music itself has a big volume if that makes sense. All of these make this album become a life-size experience, a voyage to a place far away from my everyday life. This is exactly what I want from the music I listen to; to carry me away.

Being a longtime fan of the band, I wasn't sure at first what they were aiming at; it took several listens to realize all that I wrote above. Now after many listens, I'm so happy with this album, that I like it as much as my other favourite album by them, Voimasta Ja Kunniasta. If you liked Moonsorrow's previous efforts, then you should get this as well! For fans of extreme metal, black metal, Viking metal etc. this is highly recommended.

Report this review (#162679)
Posted Monday, February 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I really wish it were out of 10 instead of out of 5, because it deserves a 9/10, which is a 4.5 out of five. But To give it a 5 would be like calling it Dark Side of the Moon, or In the Court of the Crimson King.

But this album is truly amazing, it has very epic sounding music on it, more in a black metal style, but it lessens the folk elements a little bit. It has a very memorable tune in it, at least the first song, and you will constantly have that tune in your head after listening to it.

Two perfect pieces of progressive metal suites, definitely!

Report this review (#206984)
Posted Friday, March 13, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars This may be one of the grandest metal albums in the last decade, and certainly one of the most epic in the folk/viking metal genre. With two lengthy compositions on this album, Viides Luku - Hävitetty, Moonsorrow creates a doomy metal atmosphere giving the impression of a vast expansive landscape full of foreboding elements and harsh textures.

Beginning the album is a moody synth chord in the background, with a large cracking sound groaning across the soundscape, perhaps a melting glacier or shifting earth adding to the doomy texture of the album. Clean, melancholy guitar begins a solemn intro, and the journey begins. The build up is almost post-rock like, with things really finally picking up to speed about ten minutes into the composition. At this point there is heavy metal guitar assaulting the listener with crushing riffs, along with driving drums and a longing synthesized choir in the background. The vocals, like in many folk-metal albums, are very black metal-esque and add enormous amounts to the bleakness of the record. By the end of the first piece, one will be taken aback at the spectacle they have witnessed, but certainly won't be worn out for the second half of the journey.

The second song, "Tuleen Ajettu Maa", is distinctly more folk-oriented. As the tectonic cracking returns, a faint drum crescendoes into the piece in a driving 5/4 rhythm. Folky acoustic guitar drops in with a mouth harp, showcasing the traditional roots of the band. A couple minutes in and the epic metal instrumentation makes a second appearance, and in contrast with the lighter instruments sounds far more agressive and emotional than the first time around. As the composition builds in intensity, the genres switch from the metal sound back and forth to folk music several times, before the band continues in the more straightforward doom metal vein for the rest of the song. The epic nature of the rest of the composition is excellent as well, and the music fades away, back into the sounds of the harsh landscape from which the album came.

A great album, especially for fans of doom, viking, and folk metal.

Report this review (#219396)
Posted Monday, June 1, 2009 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
5 stars 'V: Havitetty' - Moonsorrow (97/100)

This is the way folk metal is meant to be done. Most styles of music are lucky to have one or two true masterpieces that stick with me forever. As far as the oft-maligned world of folk metal is concerned, Moonsorrow's Viides Luku Hävitetty is that album. Considering my love for folk music and all it represents, I'm disappointed that so much folk metal rubs me the wrong way-- I think John Haughm (of Agalloch) said it best when he described most folk metal as "pagan-themed party music." Moonsorrow include many of the trappings of European folk metal, but their work rarely falls short of awe in my eyes. What makes them so different, then? Is it the melancholic edge they imbue their music with? Or, more likely, is it the fact that they blow up their compositions to previously untold heights of ambition? With two gorgeous half-hour epics to offer, V: Hävitetty is ravishing proof of just how ambitious, just how goddamned [%*!#]ing awe-inspiring Moonsorrow can be.

There have been times where I'd point the finger towards Verisakeet, the one they did immediately before Hävitetty, as the 'best' Moonsorrow record. That too is a masterpiece, and as a 70+ minute epic drawn out over five tracks, it's not exactly a slouch in the ambition department. If I've ever had doubts that V: Hävitetty wasn't the best folk metal record ever made, it'd only be because I had listened to it so much that the awe had become overly familiar. Every time I hear it though, the same feelings come rushing back. Regardless of the genre, I'm hard pressed to think of many bands that can make a half hour epic consistently engaging, nevermind the fact that most bands lack the spunk to attempt such a thing in the first place. A feat like that seems all the more miraculous when it's doubled. On the same album. I do feel that too much attention goes into the simple fact that Moonsorrow's songs tend to be long on average, but the bold lengths they go to on V: Hävitetty virtually demand attention on their own accord.

While the four titans (not including the "Kaiku" outro) on Verisakeet felt meticulously composed, something different is happening on Hävitetty. Stylewise, the same black/folk hybrid from the last album is explored again, but their sense of composition feels like it's coming from a very different place this time around. Both "Jäästä Syntynyt" and "Tuleen Ajettu Maa" lend the impression of having been structured organically, with intuition reigning over calculated thought. That's not to say that there's any less effort behind Hävitetty. On the contrary, I think Moonsorrow were finally at the point where they were comfortable enough with their songwriting to let their ideas take lives of their own. Very often, epics of this magnitude are broken into smaller movements, as if several songs were combined. There's no overt structure to the two epics here, at least in the sense that the ideas flow together seamlessly. I can't think of another band, be they in metal or progressive rock, that's relied on intuition so well for their epics. It makes V: Hävitetty feel all the more significant when I can't think of another album that offers an experience like this.

Although "Tuleen Ajettu Maa" is easily more upbeat than the tense "Jäästä Syntynyt" and takes le time to get itself going, it's hard to pick a winner between the two. The first side of this album offers up some of the best riffs Moonsorrow have ever penned, as well as one of the most perfectly orchestrated builds I've heard in music, manifest in the first five-odd minutes of the album. V: Hävitetty's first half is replete with lumbering folk riffs held up against crashing black metal segments. The tone on "Jäästä Syntynyt" is arguably the darkest Moonsorrow have ever gone. This makes the contrast towards a cheerier (but still dark) sound on "Tuleen Ajettu Maa" all the more refreshing. The folk instrumentation that was relatively downplayed in the first half is brought to the forefront come the second. The choral chants and screams are perfectly channelled here as well; so many extreme metal bands fall short of putting harsh vocals to the best use. Only allowing the most treacherous screams to sound in the tensest moments, the vocals always hit the emotional mark they were intended for.

V: Hävitetty also ends with one of the greatest closing sections I've heard in a metal song. After an album with more than a few harrowing sections, the triumphant procession in the final five minutes feel like a gorgeous revelation. There are few bands that convey the feeling of a heroic journey the way Moonsorrow does, so the atmosphere of victory can be felt deeply, as if you yourself have just survived your greatest challenge. Even having been listening to V: Hävitetty for years now, I'm still in awe of how far Moonsorrow managed to push their sound before they finally reached the peak of potential. Had I been writing about the band a decade ago, I would have swore that Verisakeet was the most elaborate they could ever go. V: Hävitetty proved me wrong in the best sort of way. Unfortunately, having reached the peak means there was nowhere left to go, save for a return to a safer sound. The full-lengths they've released since have been great, but I don't think anything can ever compare to the perfection they conjured with this one. V: Hävitetty is forever.

Report this review (#445537)
Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Some albums open new doors to a none-metal progressive rock fans. In this case it was this album.

While listening to this album I feel very proud to be a Finn, but I'm not expressing it too much ? but this album is all that I would wait for an album that I found to be the 12th in the Finland's top progressive album list in (the first time I saw the album on the list it was 21st I think). I never had listened to metal like I do now (and definitely NOT Viking metal) and it's all because of this album. There were 2 half-hour-epics and Moonsorrow had made some name in outside world too and it made me very curious. I'm not (definitely) going to prefer this album (masterpieces) to Edge of Sanity's ''Crimson (1996)'' and some other extreme prog metal albums that are the top notch, but if you want epic, you've got it. Not too many bands have enough balls to combine metal epics with some vulgar instruments like they do here. There are parts with harmonic and Jewish harp played by Henri Sorvali that actually fit incredibly well to the theme. Mandolin guitar is played by Marko Tarvonen. Choirs are a big plus here. There are visiting musicians that make a good addition to the singing and now they had a total choir. They actually had enough space for the both songs. Some parts of the songs suddenly become very, VERY masculine when their low, deep voice hits it. And the main star of the album is Ville Sorvali's aggressive, maniac and raw (should I say ugly?) voice, which is screaming at the same time. I'm a Finn and I can't even make a half what he is talking about, but still, the lyrics are NOT stupid. You can really see that these guys are serious in what they do and lyrics are stunningly beautiful and it's in the metaphors. ''Hävitetty'' means ''Annihilated'' in English and points to humankinds self-destructive actions and how the nature ends it all, the apocalypse. This band is presenting the pagan-metal-genre and you can hear it easily when you listen to the lyrics, if you can understand them. When there's destruction, it's because gods of elements are pissed off. What makes the album so and the band so proggy, it's the synths and the wide range of eclectic guitar riffs and sometimes the guitars are layered in 3 levels, the rhythm-guitar, solo guitar and the 12-string guitar and the song becomes very post-like and the fast drumming in the background supports this. Synths are a bit hidden in the background, but they're there and the songs become very symphonic and there are some small neo-classical parts (which, in my case, cause a gigantic eargasm). Synth-work on this album is priceless and this is my one of my favorite albums where the synths have a huge role, even when they don't maintain your sound range all the time. This is thanks to both Henri Sorvali and Markus Eurén. Drummer makes his job as a death- metal drummer and has his moments too. When the songs warms up again and again, the drummer shows his best. Marko Tarvonen does all the percussion. What makes the album so special, it caught the spirit of nature and symphonic beauty (beauty of Lapland, northern Finland) even when the album is very noisy at times and it listening isn't boring at all. Every instrument supports each other and singing is about ageless things. Global warming in the icy poles and how it causes floods and how forest fires kill people and destroy the woods. We're all depended in space and air and we should do something. Still this album isn't propaganda, it's just how it is, we're all going to die, because we are stupid.

Let's rate the songs!

Jäästä Syntynyt (Born of Ice) / Varjojen Virta (Stream of Shadows) (30:10)//*****: The album begins with the same theme that it ended, fire had destroyed all and there are some sounds of burning wood in the background. Apocalyptic guitar and synths are creating the mood for the destroyed sight of earth. In this song the power of nature is brought up, when you have the Sun melting the north pole up and water level is rising around the world, well THAT's the power and people can't really do anthing, it's depressing and so are the guitars. The song warms up quite long time, something like 6 min and then it goes aggressive. This is the metal and the guitars and Sorvali's aggressive shout breaks the silence. This dude really screams like he would be s******ed or something. ''-And the corpse carries it's own weight of water, and screams for freedom'', damn, that's deep. Song doesn't really change much during the first 20 min and that's why I like this song so much, why cut the mod when you can really enjoy the wonderful theme to the end when you really want it to be changed. Then we move to the epic ending, the main chorus moves to the more relaxed sounds scale and the harmonic and the 12-string guitar FIT, THEY FIT. The ending is epic and leaves you wondering if the band can overtop this? they did.

Tuleen Ajettu Maa (A Land Driven into Fire) (26:19)//*****(the best track): Seriously, this song is something that makes your day no matter when you listen to it and no matter what mode you are in. Song begins with the vocals about nature's spirit and the witch-drum. Jewish harp is something that I really want to bring up, how did the make this stuff up?! I was totally feeling like I would see the woods drown in flames and all living things with them and the apocalyptic theme continues with very deep, staring guitar and builds the the beginning. The start is much more faster than in the first song, because there was a intro, but this song doesn't really waste any time. The song has so many awesome guitar riffs that I'm being blown away and it really shows how eclectic Moonsorrow can be. The rhythm changes among the guitars and the drums but the theme stays and the song hasn't any hurry to anywhere and you can just chill. The choir are usually close to the climaxes and makes you want to sing with. The post-rock scene close to 10 min is also a good supplement. ''It's scared, but dies while fighting'' is my favorite phrase from this song. But my favorite part from the whole album is from 12:55 on to the end. The song changes bizarrely to guitar-diverse madness and screaming. GREAT! I was surprised when I was literally 'able' to listen this even when I didn't like metal in the first place but this is the part where the album melts the ice. Synths also show their different side in this part and drumming is awesome. The singing makes the ending memorable, because it's not singing anymore, they're just growls and screaming for the last minutes and the song moves itself to the fade out ending. This is the noisiest part because there are so much instruments at the same time and you hardly recognize the solo guitar but it's still an very beautiful, symphonic and a perfect ending which leaves you with your jaw on the floor.

Final rate: A weak 5. Still when the songs are awesome they're very fat and to my mind the intro on the first song is a bit too long and this isn't totally full-blooded prog metal album, because even the members of the band mention in their interviews that they don't support the sound of progressiveness in their music so this isn't really an every prog rock listeners dream, but if you want epic?then yeah?go get this album. It needs couple of listens if you aren't into aggressive eclectic music but it's worth it. Studio work is in all in all perfect and the only bad thing in it's sound is that some sounds top the others and I'm sure that you'll find more sounds with each listens. If you are one of those who got into progressive rock by listening progressive metal bands and then moving to more progressive artists then you can't say no to this album. And even if you can't make sense from the lyrics you can find them translated in the booklet. Enjoy

Report this review (#530084)
Posted Friday, September 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars The most epic stuff I've heard in my life.

As one reviewer said: you want epic?

A challenge to one's hearing sense, you'll be wanting for more once the album finishes. Just 2 lenghty songs, that traverse different landscapes and utterly destroy your expectations (in a good way).

Besides, the lenght of both songs serve as a sort of epic build-up that unchains the ending, making the world implode and finishing all existence (metaphorically speaking)

1. Jäästä Syntynyt (Born of Ice) / Varjojen Virta (Stream of Shadows) (30:10) 10/10

2. Tuleen Ajettu Maa (A Land Driven into Fire) (26:19) 9/10

Pro tip: listen while visiting a far away land with vikings, valkyries, or elves. Add a giant beast that growls and plays 7-string guitars. Profit.

Report this review (#549726)
Posted Thursday, October 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 8/10

A world of pain and loss, but triumph will somehow take shape.

Moonsorrow's final, great album so far is 'V: Havitetty', the most ambitious, mature, and complex albums by the band, and that is to say a lot, being followed by a masterpiece of intricacy such as the epic 'Verisakeet': But the band push their boundaries even further, and create something that a listener would never forget.

This is an album of details. Details are the elements that build 'Havitetty'; it's like creating a castle not with immense milestones but with small pieces of rocks that together nevertheless make an incredibly solid effort. And it is a castle that is quite hard to destroy. It's a solid, almost hour long album, where ambition is the first word that comes to mind. More synthesizers, even more Folk elements incorporated; there is in the slower, quieter moments, even some Prog Rock sparks. But Black Metal is still the core of Moonsorrow's music: it's not a cerebral, polished BM like it was in 'Verisakeet', but it is a raw, abrasive one reminiscent of an earlier period for the band.

The element that attracted much more ambitious metalheads to this release (and perhaps distanced the ones who like their metal played safe) is the fact that this is a two song affair, both of them reaching nearly the half-hour length. The first one, 'Jaasta Syntynyt/ Varjojen Virta', more melancholic, sad, hopeless, but of an amazing beauty especially in the first seven minutes or so, where atmospheres a-la-Pink Floyd take place, before exploding into a bunch of different, unique, and carefully arranged Black Metal riffs (with shrieked vocals) that take turns in hopping up in front of the listener. With lyrics concerning the death of our world, due to stupidity of man ( immense frustration is felt in the poetry of lyricist), and the preparation to a war that will give nothing but further loss to us. But if the first track is resigned and helpless, 'Tuleen Ajettu Ma' is the revenge, the anger, the hope. Starting almost right off with heavy riffs, it has in the core of the song slower passages. The feeling here is more triumphant, more epic almost. The hooks thus are even more memorable, and often even hauntingly gorgeous, like in the last, final minutes of music. Both of the tracks wonderfully complement one another, and together create an album that couldn't have possibly felt more rounded and complete.

It won't be an easy listen for many people because of it's highly ambitious nature, in terms of structure but also of the music itself. Although not as seminal as previous Moonsorrow works, 'V: Havitetty' is an album that will always be regarded as one of the finest, most interesting and successful achievements of Folk Metal

Report this review (#758228)
Posted Friday, May 25, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Moonsorrow's 'V: Hävitetty' is an absolutely fantastic album by one of progressive metals most innovative and creative bands. I purchased this when it first came out in 2007 and to this day it has remained an album which receives regular attention from me. So what makes this so good? In one word - "atmosphere".

'Hävitetty' is absolutely drenched in atmosphere, you are transported away to a medieval battlefield, to blood and sweat and grime - into a different world entirely. Never before have I heard an album with such a fantastic feel as this one; it conjures up dark images and foreboding scenes, a pagan world filled with spirits and gloom. When you hear those first opening sounds of the fire burning and the acoustic guitar from the opening track, 'Jäästä Syntynyt / Varjojen Virta', the shivers run up your spine in anticipation of what is to come. This is an album where you lose track of time, you become utterly absorbed in the music, and you savour every single moment of it.

So what about the music then? Moonsorrow are an extreme metal band, there is no getting away from that, and this album is no exception. There are some utterly devastating slabs of metal in this album, some real head-banging moments where you will be reaching for a sword and shield ready to plunge yourself head first into battle! At times the music is primal and raw. But its also so very clever, and brilliantly executed. Moonsorrow aren't just a metal band, they have elements of folk music, traditional Scandinavian music and are extremely progressive, no more so than in this record. There are clean vocals, heavy extreme vocals, there are soft guitar passages and full on nuclear assault distortion guitar.

If you hadn't heard this band before you might be thinking, based on this description above, "So they are a bit like Opeth, right?". Not at all. Whilst both Opeth and Moonsorrow are classed as extreme prog metal, they are totally different in so many ways. I think Opeth are more refined as a band, but Moonsorrow are far, FAR more atmospheric and better at developing a consistent theme throughout a piece of music. Moonsorrow are also a band which have always written their lyrics in their mother tongue, Finnish. And I absolutely love them for doing this! They have remained true to who they are and where they come from, commercial considerations be damned!

But going back to the music on here, what makes 'Hävitetty' so good is the consistency across the two tracks. These don't feel like multiple 5 minute songs stitched together to create longer music. The two songs on this album are completely unified and feel utterly consistent throughout. Themes are revisited, the music progresses but also harks back to earlier concepts and melodies. Unfortunately for fans of Moonsorrow, like myself, they have never played the first song live, and have only played the second song from this album very sparingly. The two songs here were definitely made for the album format, and not as live material.

I consider the first track to be ever so slightly better than the second track, but both are brilliant. This is one of my favourite recordings by any band, and probably my favourite metal album ever, progressive or otherwise! Easily 5-stars.

Report this review (#1433827)
Posted Friday, July 3, 2015 | Review Permalink

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